How to Soundproof a House or Apartment for a Party
Plan on having a party in your house or apartment? It’s hard to imagine a party without some loud music playing in the background. It would be… awkward.
But if you play the music, then you have to worry about the noise disturbing the neighbors, especially if the party is happening in the evening or later at night.
So you’ll definitely want to soundproof your home or at least muffle the noise significantly to prevent them from calling the cops or knocking on your door and ruining the evening.
How to soundproof for a party
So here are some simple, affordable but effective ways you can soundproof your home in order to avoid facing your grumpy neighbors.
1. Insulate the windows
Add mass to the window area
Windows are the thinnest part of any wall. For that reason, you should add mass to your window.
The easiest and most affordable way to do this is to hang noise-blocking curtains on the windows. These can cost anywhere between $15 to $60. The heavier and larger they are the better noise-proofing you can expect to get.
To double their effect, hang two curtains on the same window in order to get two noise-blocking layers. This can be done by installing a double curtain rod.
Check out my curtain and rod recommendations in this article.
Seal the gaps in the window
The gaps surrounding the window are an easy way for sound to escape and to come inside the room. Seal these gaps with weatherproof foam tape. Surround the entire window with the foam tape for the best result.
2. Soundproof the front door
Add mass to the door
The front door (and other exterior doors) need to be soundproofed if you’re concerned about your partying habits catching the worried eye of your neighbors.
This is the second thinnest area after windows so you’ll have to use some thick and heavy material to insulate it.
Noise-blocking curtains can come in handy here as well. Especially if you have a sliding glass door or french doors which are partially made from glass. Install a curtain rod and hang one or two curtains to block noise.
The second option is to tack a moving blanket on the door. A heavy blanket like the Supreme Mover is affordable and easy to install. Cut a small hole for the door handle using scissors and then tack the blanket on the door using nails/tacks or screws.
The third option is to install soundproofing panels on the door. I’m not talking about those cheap foam panels, but actual soundproofing panels which are heavier and thicker. Attach them to the door by using nails/screws/spray adhesive or hanging strips.
Hanging strips are great because they won’t damage the door at all and no tools are required. Place one or two hanging strips on the back of the panel and then stick it to the desired surface and you’re done.
Seal the gaps in the door
The gaps found in the door frame are similar to those in the window frame. And the solution is the same. Cover the gaps by surrounding the door with the same foam tape used for the windows.
However, doors often have a small gap on the bottom that needs to be addressed with a different product.
For this gap the best solution is a door bottom (also known as door sweep). It’s a metal/rubber or wooden attachment that is attached to the bottom portion of the door in order to cover the gap between the door and the floor.
Check out the best door sweeps in this article.
3. Soundproof the external walls
If the external walls of your home lack proper sound insulation, you’ll have to do something about that. Reconstructing the wall and placing Rockwool and/or mass loaded vinyl inside the wall is the best way to do it.
But it would probably be way too much work. Especially since you’re only doing this to host a party.
So I suggest using some simple soundproofing materials that can be attached directly on the wall’s surface. Here are the top 3 choices
Thicker, self-adhesive 3D wallpaper is a good choice. It will reduce the echo in the room and muffle the noise.
It’s very easy to cover the entire wall with it and doesn’t require any tools to install because it has a self-adhesive backside. Plus, it’s the only option I would consider to be a nice wall decoration as well.
Soundproofing panels are heavier and thicker than regular foam panels. That’s why they work better for soundproofing. Like 3D wallpaper, panels will also do a great job of absorbing the noise and preventing echo from bouncing off the walls.
The best way to use any panels is to cover the entire wall with them. This can however be rather expensive for larger surfaces. In that case, hang the panels sporadically across the wall instead.
This won’t provide the best results but it will still make a difference. Using hanging strips is advised in order to prevent damaging the wall and for easier removal of the panels later on if you want to.
Acoustic foam panels
Foam panels are relatively cheap and simple to install. They’re very popular for recording studios because they’re excellent for absorbing echo. For soundproofing purposes they don’t work as well, but they’ll still block some of the noise.
Hanging strips are the recommended installation method for them as well. Check out my acoustic panel reviews to see the best ones.
These will also block the sound to some extent. Their soundproofing quality depends on their weight and thickness.
The before mentioned Supreme Mover blanket is the best. If you use lighter blankets that are more affordable, one way to make them better for soundproofing is to use two layers instead of one. Either by folding them or using two on the same spot.
Again, nails, tacks, screws and spray adhesive can be used. I’m not entirely sure about using hanging strips on moving blankets since I haven’t tried it yet. But if you have some available, I’d try them first because it’s the cleanest hanging method.
4. Soundproof the ceiling
All of these materials can be used to soundproof the ceiling. There’s no difference, other than sometimes having to use more hanging strips due to gravity. For example, placing two or three hanging strips on a panel instead of just one in order to make sure that it stays in place long-term.
Whether you should soundproof the ceiling depends on whether the noise will bother anyone upstairs or not. And also if the noise could escape through the ceiling and through the roof and disturb your neighbors.
But there’s a bigger barrier here due to the roof, than the one present with regular walls. So in that case the ceiling is not the most important part and I would leave it as the final part of your soundproofing project.
5. Place a soft cover on the floor
You should definitely cover the floor with some soft material to reduce the echo. And if the covering is thick enough, it will also block the noise from going into the downstairs area.
Carpets, rugs or interlocking floor tiles and rubber mats are all viable options. However, parties can get messy. Spilled booze can ruin your carpet or rug in no time.
So when hosting a party, it’s better to have wood grain foam tiles on the floor since they can be easily cleaned with a wet rag.
6. Hang bass traps on high corners
Bass traps are great for reducing echo in rooms. They have deeper crevices than foam panels, which makes them better against low frequencies such as the drum bass for example.
Bass traps can be used to cover an entire wall, or you can place them in each corner or in certain places on the wall. I recommend placing a few of these on high corners of the walls in the room, especially where the music will be playing.
These additional tips can be used together with the soundproofing methods explained above, or by themselves.
7. Set up your party in the basement
Basements are underground, which eliminates the need for soundproofing the walls.
If you have a large, comfy basement, this is the perfect choice, and it can make for a unique experience. You’ll be able to play louder music because there will be fewer exit points for sound to worry about.
For soundproofing a basement for a party, cover the floor with soft material and soundproof the ceiling with soundproofing panels, moving blankets or thick foam panels.
Additionally, you can hang a few bass traps around the wall to improve the acoustics and reduce the echo further. That should be enough for great results.
8. Adjust the volume
Playing music at a lower volume or telling the party animals to stay civil will minimize the soundproofing requirements. Determine how loud the music needs to be for the party and then come outside of your house or apartment.
Observe how loud the noise is from the outside. Then thinker a bit with the volume to see if it can be adjusted to a decent level for the party and for your neighbors.
You’ll still probably have to soundproof the key areas like windows, the front door and some walls. But lowering the volume to a reasonable level is still a good tip to follow.
9. Rent a private party venue
If your local area has a good party place you can rent out, check it out and see if it’s large enough and of high enough quality to accommodate your guests.
The price will depend on the size of the place, extra features you order, the overall quality and the amount of work they have already. Bargaining about the price of a party venue is not unusual either.
Take into consideration the drinks and everything else you’d have to carry in order to make this option work. And finally, keep in mind that any party venue worthy of the name needs to be rented at least a few weeks, sometimes even months before the event.
10. Talk to your neighbors about the noise
Believe it or not, most neighbors are actually nice people. And even if they aren’t, they don’t want to ruin their relationships with their neighbors over a single party.
Let them know that there will be a party at a certain date in your home, and that it could cause some disturbance, but not too much. Tell them you’re working on soundproofing your home, but that you probably won’t be able to contain all of the noise from escaping outside.
People don’t like unpleasant surprises, and they’ll be far less irritated by the noise if they’re warned about it ahead of time.
Final Word: How to soundproof a party
Soundproofing a house or apartment for a party involves blocking high and low sound wave frequencies from all the surfaces through which they can escape outside of your home.
But there are many materials and products you can use to achieve this goal. I’ve shared the simplest affordable projects and products in this article. I hope you find some of them useful and get the “Party King” nickname without your neighbors having the slightest clue about it..